Forum Posts

Tim Sheets
Dec 09, 2020
In Your Barn Story
See a virtual tour of our 1911 century barn.
Virtual Barn Tour at Heritage Farm content media
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Tim Sheets
Jan 16, 2019
In Member Recommendations
I wanted to recommend a contractor for anyone needing a Heritage Barn saved. Swiss Builders LLC 260-438-2508 6029 N. - 100 W. Peru, IN. 46970 Contact: Merlie Schwartz Merlie and his sons, plus other crew members are all Amish Craftsmen who know how to fix up Barns in almost any condition. Their work is second to none, and it is always a pleasure to work with them. Travel- I would estimate that travel would be any part of Indiana from the North side of Indianapolis, to the Michigan border, and western Ohio. Swiss Builders have renovated the Legacy Barn, in Kokomo, Indiana and The Rustic Barn in Hopewell, near Wabash. Both of these projects converted a long standing idle barns, into functional event centers capable of sustaining themselves for yeas to come. They also do any and all types of construction for barns and homes. Their work is amazing and the cost is always reasonable and justifiable. I would be glad to speak to anyone interested in their work. Colin Craig Legacy Barn Kokomo, IN. 765-210-0343
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Tim Sheets
Feb 16, 2018
In Grants and Funding
Thanks to those who submitted applications. The two selected grant recipients will be notified by mid-March. The application process will open again in the fall for the 2019 grants.
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Tim Sheets
Dec 03, 2017
In Restoration/Preservation
Many older Hoosier barns are equiped with a lightning protection system commonly known as lightning rods. Many of these historic lightning protection systems may still be operating properly or can be repaired and upgraded. Some old systems simply are too deteriorated, incomplete, or archaic to repair and make fully functional, raising the question whether they should be saved in place or removed in whole or in part for safety. For historic structures that have none and are located in areas that are prone to lightning strikes such as in Indiana, a modern lightning protection system may merit installation. This perservation brief from the NPS addresses the care, maintenance, and repair of historic and older lightning protection systems and discusses factors to consider in assessing the need for a lightning protection system where none exists. https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs/50-lightning-protection.htm
Lighting Protection for Historic Barns content media
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Tim Sheets
Nov 16, 2017
In Restoration/Preservation
Historic barns are threatened by many factors. On farmland near cities, barns are often seen only in decay, as land is removed from active agricultural use. In some regions, barns are dismantled for lumber, their beams sold for reuse in living rooms. Barn raisings have given way to barn razings. Further threats to historic barns and other farm structures are posed by changes in farm technology, involving much larger machines and production facilities, and changes in the overall farm economy, including increasing farm size and declining rural populations. Yet historic barns can be refitted for continued use in agriculture, often at great savings over the cost of new buildings. This Technical Brief published by the US Dept. of the Interior, encourages the preservation of historic barns and other agricultural structures by encouraging their maintenance and use as agricultural buildings, and by advancing their sensitive rehabilitation for new uses when their historic use is no longer feasible. Open Document
The Preservation Of Historic Barns  content media
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Tim Sheets
Nov 15, 2017
In Grants and Funding
The Indiana Barn Foundation’s Mauri Williamson Barn Preservation Grant Fund is launching a matching-grant program in 2018, intended to assist Indiana barn owners in repairing and maintaining their historic barns. This program is intended to meet two of the primary objectives of the organization— promoting barn preservation and actively saving heritage barns. The matching grants will be awarded annually on a competitive basis. Under the program, applicants will compete for IBF grants of up to $2500 per project, and will be required to match that amount with their own funds, additional grants or loans, or in-kind value, such as donated labor. Initially, IBF will grant two projects per year, each receiving $2500. With the match, each project could complete $5000 worth of repairs, or more if the applicant acquires additional funding. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of a written application submitted to the Mauri Williamson Barn Preservation Grant Fund Committee according to criteria established by the Application Guidelines. The Committee will forward 5-10 of the best applications to the IBF Board of Directors, which will select two applicants to receive grant funds. IBF funds will be awarded upon the satisfactory completion of the proposed projects, which must be completed within a year from the date awarded. Application Forms and Guidelines are available here. The Guidelines address applicant assistance, application instructions, process, and timeline, eligibility rules, evaluation criteria, and establish program requirements and obligations of grant recipients.
Announcing the Mauri Williamson Barn Preservation Grant Fund content media
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Tim Sheets
Nov 15, 2017
In County Representatives
A group from Carroll County has been piloting a barn survey initiative since earlier this year. Some of the survey information has been posted on an interactive map on Carroll County Barns website. You can see it here.
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Tim Sheets
Nov 14, 2017
In Your Barn Story
If you approach Tim and Beth Sheets’ farm in Howard County from the west, you can tell their agricultural product—alpacas—right away. The shingle design on the barn roof tells that story. Brown, white, and black Suri alpacas roam the pastures surrounding the barn where Hereford cattle once grazed. The Sheets are living on the property once farmed by Beth’s parents Robert and Nelda Brower Lovelace. Robert’s prize herd of Hereford breeding stock was the impetus behind their 1958 purchase of the 120-acre farm. The sound condition of the 40-by-60-foot English-style barn hooked Robert on the property. Although the two-story Federal style brick house was secondary to his interests, Beth jokes, Nelda painstakingly restored the long-neglected house. Tim and Beth Sheets won the 2017 John Arnold Award for Rural Preservation presented by Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Farm Bureau at the Indiana State Fair. The award recognizes commitment to the preservation of Indiana’s rural heritage. “Heritage Farm has had wonderful stewards who take great care of the property’s historic buildings. It’s a wonderfully picturesque place and fully functional,” said Tommy Kleckner, Indiana Landmarks’ western office director, who oversees the annual selection of Arnold Award winners. In 1998, Beth and Tim were living and working in Indianapolis and raising their son and daughter when the Lovelaces built a new house on the property and turned the historic house, landmark barn, and some of the land over to the them. Beth still commutes to downtown Indianapolis five days a week, and Tim works part time as a pharmacist in Peru, a few miles from the farm. They aptly named their homestead Heritage Farm, trading her dad’s beef cattle for fleece-producing alpacas, and made the idyllic historic location a second cash crop. The 1911 barn that first attracted Beth’s father to the property remains the jewel of the farm. It stands on a rise several hundred yards from the farmhouse. From the road, the barn’s roof draws the attention of passers-by, its shingle pattern designed to depict a stylized suri alpaca. Tim created the design on graph paper and an Indiana roofer executed the pattern in interlocking asphalt shingles. On the side that faces the home’s sunny breakfast room, the barn roof displays an “H” and “F” for Heritage Farm. The barn houses 60 alpacas, and stores hay—unloaded in the 16-foot-wide nave where for more than 100 years wagons have deposited bales onto hay forks attached to the still-functional overhead trolley system. In 2016, the Sheets’ barn was named one of the Top 10 Bicentennial Barns in Indiana by the state Bicentennial Commission. Friends and family gather at Heritage Farm for the spring shearing when most of the herd get their annual cut. City folks and country visitors, as well as people interested in the quality alpaca fleece for spinning and knitting, attend the farm’s Fall 4 Alpacas Festival, where they can learn about spinning and weaving, walk an alpaca through an obstacle course and enjoy a hayride . The event draws over 200 people each year. “There’s a market for the wool, but you have to work at it and get your product in front of the public and other producers,” Beth says. “There are a lot of new initiatives that are using a larger amount of the alpaca fiber. In the 2018 Winter Olympics, U.S. athletes will be wearing sweaters and hats made from alpaca wool in the opening and closing ceremonies.” The Sheets added a new barn and a 40-by-80-foot party tent to rent for weddings, parties and other gatherings. Each year, Heritage Farm hosts student groups from Purdue University, local schools, Carroll County 4-H clubs, and the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. The couple shares their farm and the Hoosier pioneer heritage by renting a nineteenth-century log cabin for overnight stays through FarmStayUS, hipcamp, Glamping Hub and Airbnb. In 1987, Beth’s parents hired a house mover to bring the cabin they saved from demolition on a neighboring farm to a site near their 150-year-old brick farmhouse. Beth’s mother carefully chinked the logs, stripped, and painted to make the cabin a cozy, inviting place for family gatherings and, now, for paying guests who want to experience farm living. A brick pizza oven, grill, large deck, indoor plumbing, and other modern conveniences make the Lovelace Cabin a treasured get-away. “Several guests from Indiana have stayed here but most of our guests have been from out of state, especially the Chicago area” said Tim. The cabin remains a gathering spot for the family and a coveted place to spend the night for their six grandchildren. “The cabin reminds us every day of our agricultural roots, solid values and the importance of faith and family,” adds Tim. This article was written by Mary Hardin for the November/December issue of Indiana Preservation magazine published by Indiana Landmarks.
Alpaca Barn at Heritage Farm content media
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